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Remembering what the Holocaust is

Perhaps under the radar in the media generally, there has been considerable debate in the last days relating to the memorialising of the Holocaust.   Starting with the Statement from the White House said to be commemorating Holocaust Day on 27 January, the Right has been having a field day distancing Jews from the Holocaust.    In this new "age" of pushing "facts" and "alternate facts" out there - looking at you Donald Trump and the awful team around you - the world needs to be on guard that the revisionists of history out there and those simply peddling lies doesn't take hold.    It is to be borne in mind that many people see Google as the source of all manner of information...and that is a worry when one reflects on the sort of web sites out there.

"We need to de-judaify the Holocaust apparently. That’s the latest from ‘alt-right’ poster boy Richard Spencer. Spencer, who by all accounts is the personification of a bacterial infection, feels that commemorating the Holocaust makes it really difficult for him to be a bigot.

In a post published in the Daily Stormer (named after Nazi publication Der Sturmer), Spencer griped about how Trump’s Holocaust Memorial Day statement was great because it prevented Jews from going on and on about their “meta-narrative of suffering” as a way of firming up their “peculiar position in American society”.

As a Jew, when I read that Holocaust Memorial Day statement I felt worried. An alternative fact inspired speech stamped with the official government seal denied the Jewish experience in 150 words. And let’s be clear, this isn’t just about the Jews.

Even if for a moment, we were to entertain the idea that the White House and Spencer’s issue with Holocaust remembrance is that it’s too “Jew focussed”, you would surely release a statement that names say, one of the other groups affected. Or any of the groups affected. Or perhaps, (ground breaking, I know), all of the groups that were affected. But that’s not what’s happening here.

The notion that Jewish connection to the Holocaust is an exaggerated idea made up by the ‘ruling elites’ (read: Yids) in order to reassert their power is an old anti-Semitic trope but it takes on fresh life with this new ‘world order’.

White supremacists have started to couch their ideas in pseudo academic assertions to make their stupid, dangerous points seem legitimate. What hipster Hitler is actually saying here is Jews have too much power and the Holocaust wasn’t a big deal.

It pains me that I feel it necessary to include this sentence: there was a fundamental, pinnacle part of Shoah that was about targeting, ostracising, ghettoising and gassing Jews, because they were Jews. That is undeniable. You don’t need to talk to survivors about that part; the Nazis were pretty open about that themselves, made a lot of speeches about it, even took some photos. And yet, I feel it’s important have it written here, because for the first time in my lifetime it seems that this objective historical fact is up for debate in what is becoming a more mainstream political discourse.

Denying Jewish connection to the Holocaust; bans on Muslim refugees and immigrants; it all comes from the same vile white supremacist thinking. This kind of rhetoric has real life, pernicious consequences for those it targets; it must be called out and ridiculed at every opportunity."


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